Author Topic: buying a farm  (Read 5790 times)

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Offline DLMKA

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buying a farm
« on: February 03, 2014, 07:13:44 pm »
Last summer I found a farm not too far away for sale. It is all certified organic and comes with all the livestock and equipment needed to run the place. The livestock includes dairy and beef herd, red wattle hogs, a handful of chickens, guineas, peacocks, ducks, etc for pest control. Equipment includes pipeline milking set-up and 4 stanctions with 250 gal stainless bulk tank (room for 1000 gal), 110hp Case tractor, 45hp(?) Kubota with loader and blade, wagons, hay equipment, 10 ft disc, and all the feed and hay inventory. The place has an on-site retail store for selling meat and some other items produced locally by other farmers. They've made $60k profit off the little farm for a few years now and they really aren't working themselves very hard or the land. Lots of room to improve both profit margin and volume if desired. I could see that profits could pretty easily exceed $100k

Anyways, we went and looked at it a couple times and started putting together a business plan to take in and start working on financing. With holidays and everything late fall and early winter we kind of got behind and they were working with someone that was going to make a cash offer. They prospective buyer was an investor and was going to hire someone to run the farm. Last week, after 4-5 months of conversation sharing financials and turning away other potential buyers (ourselves included) they backed out. Now we are hurrying up to see if we can secure financing to become full time organic farmers.


Offline Waverlybees

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 07:18:25 pm »
I hope it works out for you. Sounds like a good living can be made with a little hard work.

Dan

Offline Perry

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 07:21:20 pm »
If I were 20 years younger I'd be interested myself. It is probably one of the hardest ways to make a living, but I'm betting it has one of the highest satisfaction rates going. It has to be something you love to do, and I've never found fault with that.
I hope things go your way and it becomes reality for you.
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Offline DLMKA

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 07:35:20 pm »
Farming is in my blood. My mom grew up on a farm north of Minneapolis, my uncle still lives there although he doesn't farm, just rents the land out. My dad grew up on a fairly large dairy farm south of Minneapolis, my uncle and cousins still live there and continue to farm. I think starting about 3 years ago I realized after being laid off for a year that I'd like to get back to my roots. We've got a big yard and garden but zoning restrictions keep us from doing any animals here, we've had some chickens but had to got rid of them after one of the neighbors complained.

I'm not afraid of hard work. I am getting tired of working for "the man" and not getting any raises in 3 years no matter how hard you work and had to take 5 weeks of unpaid time off last year effectively cutting my pay 10%. I'm just frustrated with my current situation, totally unsatisfying and tired of upper management getting huge bonuses while I take cuts.

We're going to start talking to USDA about low interest loans as well as Farm Credit Services this week and see how fast we can get the ball rolling.

Offline Walt B

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 07:54:21 pm »
Good luck to you. I'm sure you will find it more satisfying than that big equipment manufacturer.  ;)

Speaking of 10% pay cut, I worked for one of your suppliers and we took a 10% cut, but we were still expected to work a 50 hour week (minimum), with no weeks off. It wasn't a hard decision to "retire".

Anyway, I hope it works out for you. Pigs and cows and chickens, oh my!  8)

Walt
Red Gate Farm
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Offline G3farms

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 08:06:38 pm »
If that is what you are wanting I sure hope it works out for you!

A labor of love with self satisfaction as a reward.

The farmer is the only person who buys retail, sells wholesale and pays shipping both ways.

Good luck with it.
Bees are bees and do as they please!

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Offline DLMKA

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 08:12:23 pm »






Some pictures taken from online

Offline rcannon

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 08:37:33 pm »
That is a beautiful place. Good luck with it.

Offline Slowmodem

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 09:07:22 pm »
There's nothing like the country life!   ;D

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Ten Mile, TN
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Offline Marbees

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 09:17:51 pm »
It looks like a beautiful property, glad you are taking  time doing the math, hope you get it. :)
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Offline Papakeith

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 09:22:06 pm »
I hope it works out for you. Sounds like a good living can be made with a (LOT of) hard work.

Dan

Had to adjust the statement a bit  :laugh: ;D

It is probably one of the hardest ways to make a living, but I'm betting it has one of the highest satisfaction rates going. It has to be something you love to do, and I've never found fault with that.
I hope things go your way and it becomes reality for you.

Pretty much nailed it Perry
I'm starting to think that the bees are keeping me...

Offline tecumseh

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 06:36:59 am »
if you have genetically predisposed dirt under your fingernails what else would you really want to do????

I would also suggest that being second in line can have it benefits.  After the cash offer has been removed often times the seller's expectation have also decreased somewhat.

I have no idea how any farm in or around Peoria Ill. could possible be organic.

as in most things real estate location is the first issue (with a retail store how many car pass by the front gate should be directly connected to the selling price).  as a rule I would never add any 'expected increase in sales' into the purchase price.  if this happens then this is good, but if not then this can set you up for financial failure.

for myself....I would never buy a place with milking stalls.

Offline DLMKA

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 04:30:09 pm »

I would also suggest that being second in line can have it benefits.  After the cash offer has been removed often times the seller's expectation have also decreased somewhat.

I have no idea how any farm in or around Peoria Ill. could possible be organic.

as in most things real estate location is the first issue (with a retail store how many car pass by the front gate should be directly connected to the selling price).  as a rule I would never add any 'expected increase in sales' into the purchase price.  if this happens then this is good, but if not then this can set you up for financial failure.

for myself....I would never buy a place with milking stalls.

They've almost sold the place a few times now with the buyer backing out at the 11th hour, they've already bought their retirement place and are pretty motivated to get to work over there. I see this as an opportunity to get considered on a lower offer than what we were originally thinking.

There is actually a decent amount of certified organic ground here, MOSES is the certifying agency for the upper Midwest, it's all legit as far as the USDA goes.

They are selling raw milk which is only legal in Illinois if it is sold on-farm, this is what drives traffic to the on-site store (it's just a glorified shed with freezers and refrigerators, transactions are on an honor system but I have 4 kids and the girls (5 and 7) are terribly excited about the possibility of helping people out.The farm is close enough to Chicago that there are people that come down weekly to get milk. He's milking 15 head right now and everything that's not sold is cultured and fed to feeder pigs for protein ration.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 06:41:06 pm »
Being close to chicago will be a big help, and dont forget the internet, either for advertising or for selling products through a merchant account..    I have found that in todays society, its not all about how many cars go by the front gate, its about how many fingers tap on the NEXT page..
 
   Best of luck! I am sure if your start lubricating everything in sight with a bit of elbow grease you can make it work!
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Offline pistolpete

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 02:15:50 am »
Honestly, I had to laugh a little when you originally wrote that the owners were clearing 60k without working the land or themselves very hard.  For most farmers "not working very hard" means only working 12 hours/day instead of 14.   Also, does their 60K profit include deductions for ongoing equipment costs etc.

I hope that doesn't sound too negative, I'm all for your plan (and just a little jealous).  One of my "secret" dreams is to have a small farm when I retire from construction. 
My advice: worth price charged :)

Offline DLMKA

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 09:23:35 am »
Honestly, I had to laugh a little when you originally wrote that the owners were clearing 60k without working the land or themselves very hard.  For most farmers "not working very hard" means only working 12 hours/day instead of 14.   Also, does their 60K profit include deductions for ongoing equipment costs etc.

I hope that doesn't sound too negative, I'm all for your plan (and just a little jealous).  One of my "secret" dreams is to have a small farm when I retire from construction.

I appreciate commentary like this.  They flat out told me that daily chores take him 4-5 hours for normal things, he does ALL the outside chores and she mainly does bookwork and social media/blogging to promote the farm. They aren't growing their own feed grains and pay someone to bail the small amount of hay they produce on the farm purchasing the rest.

I KNOW farming is hard work and honestly, it's what I do when I come home from work.  I'll put in my hrs for a paycheck and come home and work in the yard and garden and do stuff with bees until sunset. I already put in 12-14 hour days most of the year. Even now I spend evenings and Saturdays making and assembling woodenware.

On top of that, my dad, who grew up farming and has since been in the livestock feed industry (ADM and Cargill) his entire career is "retiring" in April.  I sent him a link to this place back in September on a whim and he was the one that encouraged me to follow up. He told me he'd come "work" a few days a week to help out, it would keep him from being a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Offline Perry

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 09:30:47 am »
Better to have tried and found it not to your liking, than not having tried and always wondering.  ;)
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Offline DLMKA

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2014, 10:00:47 am »
At 32 I already know I don't have another 30+ years of corporate life left in me especially if the last 4 are any indication of the future. Stagnant wages and weeks of forced, unpaid time off make it real hard to get excited about going to work. Not to get too far off track but we haven't seen the worst of it, I'd rather be in control of my own destiny.

Worst case it fails, the land isn't going anywhere so there will be some equity in the place and I can go back to being a corporate drone. I have something to fall back on.

Offline Slowmodem

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2014, 10:18:27 am »
I hope that doesn't sound too negative, I'm all for your plan (and just a little jealous).  One of my "secret" dreams is to have a small farm when I retire from construction.

I donno.  I hope we're not saying, "He bought the farm" any time soon!   :o
Greg Whitehead
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: buying a farm
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2014, 10:40:54 am »
There is no better feeling than being independent and self sustaining. IMHO. I have worked on the farm most of my life, but found it necessary to find a job off the farm in order to keep the farm. As you know farming is a
 24/7 job and unless you have a good water supply for livestock and crops, you are totally dependent on the weather, and the livestock and crops are totally dependent on you :o. There have been years where i made a good profit, and years where i thought i would but, disease, insects, wild animals, equipment break downs, and sudden change in the weather had other ideas. Farming isn't like it use to be, everything is high tech and expensive anymore and can't be fixed with baling wire. I'm not trying to discourage you from doing something that you have dreamed and love to do, because the only way they will get me off the farm is when they carry me to that small lot over the hill by the church. I never thought i would live to see the land i bought for $700.00 an acre (63 acres) would sell for $8,000.00 to $10,000.00 an acre, or a 600 lb. steer bring $1,200.00 at the yards? ??? Watching are children grow up on the farm and teaching them how to be self relying means more to my wife and i than than anything else.Sorry just an old farmers rant, Hope your dream comes true and Good Luck. Jack